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VTL 5.5 Series 2

Posted on July 7, 2010 at 01:18:58

Posts: 182
Joined: February 6, 2002
Anyone here own/use this preamp? Care to share your experiences, and what, if any, preamp it replaced in your system?

The fact that this unit has low gain, remote control, and TUBES are attractive to me.

Thanks in advance for your opinions.


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How does it compare to a CJ premier 16?, posted on July 14, 2010 at 05:45:28

Posts: 182
Joined: February 6, 2002
It's my longtime preamp, and I love the rich mids and upper bass, slightly laid-back nature, specially with acoustic jazz and chamber music. Looking for a similar sound with lower gain, and maybe lower noise. Definitely not a fan of the ARC "house" sound.

My system is CD based, with SET amplification.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on July 13, 2010 at 16:02:57

Posts: 9
Joined: March 13, 2009
I recently auditioned the 5.5 series II wiht phono for a week. I have also auditioned the previous 5.5, the ARC LS26, ARC Ref. 3, Belles 21A with Auricap, VT-01, Aesthetix Calypso stock. Of those I liked the new VTL the best. The ARC ref 3 had more detail and air, was perhaps a bit smoother but did not have the detail at the lower end as the VTL. The new VTL bettered my current Belles in the frequency extremes, detail, quality and quantity of base as well as soundstage and top end. My belles remains very very sweet in the mid range and I can live with it easily if I had to. I am going to audition the Herron VTSP-3A latter this week but for now I think the VTL has a winner. I used in with a Classe CA-2200 amp, verity parsifal speakers, blue marble audio interconnects and nordost frey speaker. Nottingham spacedeck, shelter 501 and Naim CDX2.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on July 14, 2010 at 16:46:03

Posts: 18
Location: Chicago
Joined: July 9, 2006

Once you have a chance to audition the Herron VTSP-3A preamp I'd love to hear your thoughts on how it compared to the VTL 5.5 Series 2.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on November 21, 2010 at 04:57:06

Posts: 9
Joined: March 13, 2009
Sorry for the delay in response. I ended up purchasing the Herron VTSP-3A over the VTL 5.5II. I also purchased a Herron VTPH-2 phono stage. I really like the VTL and know people will be happy with it. I prefered the Herron for a few reasons. Quiet, dead quiet. I could turn my volume full on and no tube hiss. Also, very neutral and detailed. The VTL sounds like a tube pre-amp, lush, airy, detailed with the typical tube bloom. The Herron, more solid, clear and liquid. With the VTL I was impressed at how my system sounded. With the Herron I really forgot the system and was struck by how the music sounded. Soundstage width very similar, depth a little better with the Herron. Both are very good, both are very well made and both company's, (Bea at VTL and Keith at Herron) were very approacable and answered many questions as did my dealer. I think both are fantastic and at a similar price for line stage only (6550.00 for Herron and 6000.00 for VTL). I would demo both and be happy with either.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on February 16, 2011 at 10:03:21
I own the Herron VTPH-2 and love it. Agree with all that you say here -- Keith Herron has been so approachable and helpful as I've integrated the phono preamp into my system. I'm always amazed at how musical and detailed, fast and organic, etc his equipment is. And I agree, very quiet for tube gear....was quieter than some solid state gear I auditioned.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on November 21, 2010 at 16:45:32

Posts: 1529
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
Hello Dtullar, nice that you found a preamp pair that you like. I am curious how the 3A compared in bass response, dynamics and extension to the 5.5 (which I owned before and am familiar with)? How does the bass through the 3A compare in general to other good preamps you have heard? Thanks for any thoughts you share.


RE: VTL 5.5 Series 2, posted on July 9, 2010 at 18:07:10

Posts: 114
Location: Torino
Joined: January 17, 2007
Disclaimer: I'm a VTL dealer

I can only tell you that I've compared the new 5.5 II with the 5.5 that reside in my own system. The old 5.5 was a great preamp, the new 5.5 II raise the performances a lot without loosing any of the quality of the older unit and added the balanced inputs (the circuit its fully balanced). It's a fantastic preamp IMHO but you need to go to listen by yourself.



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